What Is A Digital Nomad and How Do You Try It?

Leilani Salgado
What Is A Digital Nomad (1)

Digital Nomad Tips

1. Don’t forget health insurance

One of the main things to consider when living as a nomad is health insurance as a digital nomad. Living from wherever means that you don’t have your typical PCP since that changes constantly since you’re always on the move. Nowadays, with digital nomadism becoming more common than ever before, companies have adapted and shifted to the point where we now have health insurance specifically for digital nomads!

Safety Wing is a digital nomad health and travel insurance that covers freelancers and remote workers. Staying healthy is a huge priority, especially in a post COVID world. Consider health + travel insurance so that you are not stuck scrambling last minute to find a doctor that is not so expensive out of pocket while on your travels.

2. Hone skills that will allow you to work from anywhere

Some of the most popular skills that digital nomads have, include:

  • Writing
  • Graphic design
  • Coding
  • Digital marketing
  • Photography

3. Get international phone coverage

Something else you want to consider to make your life a hell of a lot simpler is a phone plan that covers you internationally. The cheapest way I found how to do this is to transfer to Google Fi. Google Fi is the latest phone plan from Google, their Unlimited Plus plan gives you unlimited talk text and data in over 200 countries. A worldwide plan seems much simpler and convenient to me than swapping SIM cards everywhere you go.

4. Consider your Budget

Budget for long-term travel with an app called Leap. Input your trip duration to a specific country, and estimate your lodging, transportation, and food costs for the month. The app also allows you to input your financial flows, income and savings, so you can see how much money is coming in and going out.

5. Prepare for COVID entry requirements

As if the list of things to consider before living as a digital nomad weren’t enough, COVID restrictions and requirements when entering a new country is yet another thing to take into consideration. Check with the official government agency for country-specific COVID information.

6. Find cities within your budget

The Earth Awaits lets you find various cities that you can afford to live in based on your budget, family size, and ideal lifestyle. You get a breakdown of the average cost of popular expenses, as well as information on the weather year-round and crime rates all in one place.

7. Get paid to move

Seriously, move to a new location and get paid for it! With digital nomadism on the rise, nations are competing for citizens and paying you to relocate their location. Make My Move is a website that lets you find paid offers to move or design your ideal incentives for moving!

Definition of a Digital Nomad

How To Become A Digital Nomad (1)

A digital nomad is someone who maintains a work and travel lifestyle. Digital nomads usually work remotely and are often also referenced as location independent. The main appeal of a digital nomad is the location freedom that comes with their remote jobs.

Influencers are also considered digital nomads due to the nature of their work being remote and allowing them to get paid by creating content from anywhere in the world. The most common types of digital nomads you see on Instagram are travel content creators, however, there are also lots of digital nomads simply sharing their travels with their audience online while working as freelance writers for example, or freelance photographers.

Digital Nomad Jobs

Digital nomads can work for themselves or work for a company. Lots of digital nomads are entrepreneurs, although the vast majority of them just have a job that enables them to work from wherever. Some digital nomads are also online freelancers working as independent graphic designers, copywriters, social media managers, and virtual assistants.

Workew, RemoteOK and TravelMassive offer remote job listings you can check out to start off your journey towards a digital nomad lifestyle!

Here are 12 digital nomad job ideas + links to apply directly! 😉

Digital Nomad Lifestyle

When we think of traveling, we associate it with being costly, however, the digital nomad lifestyle is different because it typically involves slower travel and living somewhere new as a local for a couple of months. Since digital nomads don’t have “a set home” they also carry much fewer expenses than the average person; digital nomads usually don’t have to worry about house or car expenses and payments.

Digital nomads also use cards like Wise, that charge you the lowest conversation rate/fees when using your money/card abroad. Wise allows you to hold and convert in 54 different currencies as well as get paid like a local.

To get more of a feel of what it’s actually like to live as a digital nomad from another digital nomad herself, check out this post I wrote interviewing digital nomad Alicia Briggs on her life as a freelance writer.

Visas for Digital Nomads

Visas for digital nomads can be a tricky subject because some countries are still outdated and don’t have laws regarding people who travel and work online. Usually, when traveling and working in a country that is not your home country requires a work visa, that may or may not apply to remote work depending on your destination.

However, while some countries have stayed behind others have created visas specifically for digital nomads. Previously, since digital nomads weren’t physically working or earning in local currency, they would travel on tourist visas. Some of the countries that have digital nomad visas are known as top digital nomad locations because of the big nomadism culture and community in those areas. Check out this post by Expert Vagabond featuring 20 countries with digital nomad visas.

Some of the most popular locations with digital nomad visas include:

  • Bali
  • Costa Rica
  • Iceland
  • Mexico
  • Spain

Countries With Visas For Digital Nomads (1)

Top Countries for Digital Nomads

According to Nomads Nation, the top countries to live as a digital nomad include:

  • Brazil
  • Puerto Rico
  • Greece
  • Ecuador
  • France
  • Argentina
  • Germany
  • UK
  • Australia
  • Chile
  • Thailand
  • Italy

Digital Nomad Housing

Ok so digital nomads don’t have a home so where do they actually live?! Digital nomads often rent monthly sublets or Airbnbs, vacation homes, etc to stay during their time in a specific location. However digital nomads are not limited to monthly rentals, some digital nomads combine work + volunteer to get free accommodation via programs like World Packers, others join platforms like Trusted Housesitters to eliminate the cost of renting expenses and in exchange house/pet sit while traveling.

There are also community programs specifically geared with digital nomads, entrepreneurs, and remote workers in mind. Programs like Remote Year bring digital nomads together for 1 month, to a couple of months, to even a year at a time to travel, work, and live as a community. Check out these 9 other housing options for digital nomads.

I am a content creator from Chicago with a passion for writing + lifestyle & travel photography. When I'm not creating content you can find me listening to podcasts on Spotify, reading, or exploring a new place. Join me on Instagram @leilani.jeanette to follow along with my adventures and read my blog!

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